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Reputation Management

One of the best ways to control people's ability to find what you don't want them to, is to put out stuff that you DO want them to see that's easier to find.

Register a domain

Try registering a domain name with your own information. Of course, just having the domain isn't enough. You'll want to create content of sorts even if it's nothing too consequential. It could be a statement of your best qualities or your favorite recipe for apple tarts. Whatever it is, the the more content and the more popular the content (more people linking to it), the more your site will come up before others.

For example, if you search for Jeremy Duffy my webpage comes up first thing even though there are several other Jeremy Duffy's on the web

Positive Online Activity

Another way of creating content for people to find is by participating in forums, leaving comments on people's pages, or creating profiles on sites like LinkedIn using your real name or a username that's easily connected to you. In all these cases, you fill in no more information than is necessary and only post things you absolutely don't care if anyone knows. Even better, post things you DO want people to know. If you're a graphic designer, participate in forums helping other people learn the trade or compare notes with other experts. If you volunteer, post about that. In all cases, keep to professional things that you'd actually WANT someone to see.

Don't mess up again

As you create content online, remember that everything you say and do will be available to anyone who looks for it. I use the "president rule". If I were to ever run for president, I know that dedicated lackeys of the opposition will spend all their waking hours scouring the net for anything they can use against me. If after considering that I'm still ok with posting it, then all's well. Otherwise, I don't post.

There are many times I'm in the middle of an angry response, think about the president rule, and change my mind. It's a good habit to form.

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The Consequences of Posting Online
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